Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Tue Nov 18 23:13:16 2003
Glasses and Tape

I just figured out how to make MIME::Tools do my bidding, and not EVER produce output files of any kind. It turns out that there's a poorly documented set of functions in MIME::Parser that turn off the (bloody stupid) default behavior to generate temp files whenever MIME gets parsed. For the curious, here's relevant code:

my $mparser = new MIME::Parser; $mparser->output_to_core(1); $mparser->tmp_to_core(1); $mparser->use_inner_files(1);

Of course, they're poorly documented for a reason -- the author of the module doesn't want you to use them. Instead, he advocates using temp files because the memory usage of programs that parse things in memory can be unpredictable. Dude, this is Perl. I know what I'm doing, and don't get in my way, even if you think you're protecting me. I'm perfectly capable of checking the size of a message before I mime-decode it, so I can reasonably handle memory concerns. Oh well. Using this knowledge, I started on a prototype of a new, MIME-aware version of the reader portion of my email program, and it proved to be so easy that it now does everything pread did (the prototype, for now, is called pmime), and better. It now decodes MIME escapes down into the US-ASCII encoding (I might investigate spitting it out as Unicode later), and so some ugly code I wrote by hand to do this (ad-hoc off-the-cuff heuristics) can be tossed. I'm going to try using pmime instead of pread for awhile, and if it works out ok, I'll make the commitment to MIME::Tools, and write utilities to nicely list and extract portions from the messages, as well as (uck) rewrite psend to make it easier to send attachments (currently, I just uuencode). It might also be good to write a utility that can easily delete or otherwise manipulate the contents of MIME messages, so I don't need to save everyone's attachments or HTML portions of messages they send. Anyhow, it's really nice to be able to sit down, and over the course of 2 hours, actually get something done.

Today, I had two interesting things happen on IM -- I had my first IM variant on the typical Nigerian bank scam, with someone nagging me for about half an hour trying to convince me to fall prey. Oddly, this one wasn't based in Nigeria -- this was based on Libya. Then, after I got here, I actually had a chat with a real person from Nigeria over IM, talking about a bunch of stuff. Funfun.

Oh, yeah, looks like Kasparov tied with Fritz.

This friday, my registration window for classes opens, and I have a lot of really tricky choices to make. I only get to take two classes free (not like it'd really be sane to take any more -- even two tends to be quite a burden), and there are plenty of interesting courses beckoning me. Here's what I've narrowed it down to: Psych (85) MW 13:3-14:5 Psych414 - Cognitive Neuropsych TH 9:-10:2 Psych251 - Personality TH 13:3-14:5 Psych310 - Research Methods

Philosophy (80) TH 9:-10:2 Phil271 - Philosophy and Psychology TH 12:-13:2 Phil236 - Philosophy of Law

It's not simply a matter of taking what's interesting -- each is really interesting, and if I were an undergrad, I'd probably try to take them all.. but those days are long gone, and I need to pay my way through life now.. I do appreciate my parents for giving me 5 years of not needing to think about money (very much, anyhow), to take classes as I pleased. Anyhow, a brief overview of each class... The neuropsych class is kind of a continuation of the cog psych class I'm taking right now, and is very much an academic class relating to my career in the field. The course on personality is a mixed bag between being directly relevant to my plans and being fun -- it's at least of peripheral interest. The research methods is probably the most important class, and if I can get in, it's the thing I'm most certain to take. It's foundational for any real research I'll be able to do later. As for the philosophy, I'm looking at it on the thought that it's good to have some variety in what I take, and because I like philosophy and consider it recreation. The Philosophy and Psychology relates developments in psychology to philosophical schools, and vice versa, plumbing the relationship between the fields. It sounds interesting, but is pretty peripheral to my career interests, and so I likely won't take it unless everything else is full. The Philosophy of Law class, based on its course description, would be pure fun. It's syllabus suggests that I would enjoy it immensely, and even though it's completely useless to my interests, there's a good chance I'll take it anyway. It happens to block nicely with the research methods class too, which would be a big plus. Why is it so appealing? It goes through some actual court cases, and explains the legal thoughts behind them, and then the philosophy underlying those legal structures. Apparently, the class involves debates, videos, and is otherwise multimedia and interactive. Yum.

In case you haven't had your fill of oddness, HERE YOU GO, DUDE. I might've given you these links before...

Incidentally, in case you've never been there before, the IUMA is a great place to get music from unsigned artists. It's improved a lot from a few years ago, the last time I visited.

This seems to me to be a really bad thing. We have a responsibility, I think, not to get animals, especially intelligent ones, involved in stupid human conflicts, especially when they have a good chance of getting themselves blown up. Just like with testing make-up on apes, it strikes me as wrong, and that human subjects, if anything, should be used in both cases, until and unless robotic systems, or other means, are used in these cases.

Interested in linguistics? -- Whistling languages .. how neat!

Finally, good techies know that MySQL sucks, and should simply never be used (postgres being superior in pretty much all areas of practice). Here's some reasons.